DEL MAR, CA – Slam Dunk Racing and James Branham’s Maxim Rate sat close early, then pounced in the stretch and outfought a stubborn Quick late to win Sunday’s $75,000 CTT and TOC Stakes at Del Mar.
Maxim Rate broke well from post 2 under Umberto Rispoli as the 5/2 favorite, then settled just behind the pair of front-runners as they raced through the far turn for the first time.
Quick put herself on the lead and held a slight advantage over Ms Peintour while posting fractions of :23.25, :49.26, 1:14.31, and 1:38.56 through the opening mile.
Rispoli waited until the top of the stretch to tip Maxim Rate off the rail and make a bid alongside Quick, all the while Over Thinking and Catch the Eye began rallying from off the pace.
The leader dug in gamely and fought back, but Maxim Rate overtook her inside the 1/16 pole and inched ahead late to win by a neck.
The Simon Callaghan trainee completed the 1 3/8-mile firm turf route in a final time of 2:14.31.
“You need everything to be right,” said Rispoli, who won three on the card. “You need the horse, you need the pace, you need it all. My filly today is a good filly. When she made the lead, I was very happy. I knew we’d win then. She’s a better horse than she’s shown. She’s a very good one.”
Quick held off Over Thinking by a nose, with Catch the Eye a 1/2-length behind them in fourth.
Meal Ticket, Siberian Iris, Pretty Point, Imperial Creed, Don’t Blame Judy, and a distanced Ms Peintour completed the order of finish.
Maxim Rate’s win was her second straight following an optional claiming score while going a mile over this same course on July 10. The 4-year-old Exchange Rate filly improved her record to 11-4-2-0 with $222,185 earned.
“It went very well,” Callaghan said. “We figured we’d be close to the pace because we didn’t see that much speed in there, and Umberto rode her perfectly. He got good position and was patient. We thought she was the best filly, but we were not sure about the distance. One thing about this filly, she relaxes so well and gives herself a chance to get the distance.”
Maxim Rate returned $7 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.40 to show. Quick brought back $8.60 to place and $5.60 to show, while Over Thinking paid $6 to show.